The Art of Showing Up

Feb 11, 2013 No Comments by


Today’s batch of change-related links covers topics that range from improving your company’s culture to being a better leader and practicing what I call “the art of showing up”.


Enjoy the articles and make it a great week!



1. Cultivating Change By Showing Up: Change Agents know that it’s hard to generate momentum for a change without visible involvement from their sponsors. Bob Sherwin compares this level of engagement to the old gardener’s proverb that  “the best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow.” 

After working with fantastic sponsors who spent time on their people’s turf and some downright awful sponsors who refused to even talk to their own employees, I couldn’t agree with him more.


2.  A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step:  Mary Jesse wrote a quick piece for Inc. magazine that suggests those who wish to change the culture of their organizations need to lead by example, reinforce the behaviors they want to see and just get started already!  Check outThree Ways to Fix Your Company’s Culture.



3. How Poor Leaders Become Good Leaders: One of the better leadership articles I’ve read in a while is this excellent list from Harvard Business Review of lessons learned by leaders who got off on the wrong foot, but survived to thrive by committing to change at a very personal level.



Their list includes many suggestions I’ve emphasized here at theBigRocks over the years including these three behaviors that I have seen work countless times: 

Focus on helping others be successful and your own success will take care of itself. (Using Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet as an example.)

Communicate, communicate, communicate. (6 Rules for Effective Communication)

Encourage your team members with specific recognition. (Throw ‘Em a Bone!)


4. Not Just for Those in the Clouds: Joe McKendrick wrote an article for Forbes magazine on skills for the modern workplace titled “5 Skills That Should be Part of Every Cloud Job Description”.  I disagree. Cloud-related jobs are a good start, but these skills actually apply to just about any position today.



5. Don’t Go Down With the Ship! From Sharon Anderson and Adele Sommers at Project Smart in the UK, here’s a great list of ways to recognize a potential project failure – and more important, how to rescue a failing project.


6. Are The Winds of Change Blowing at Your Local Mall? A recent ZDNet poll asked the question: “Has e-commerce killed the shopping mall?” I’m split on this one because I see the merits of both the mall and the web.


For simple things, I love the convenience of online shopping – but nothing beats holding a product in your hands before committing.


Combining these two approaches, I often visit brick and mortar stores just to visibly check out a product before I buy it from In most such cases, I make the purchase on my smartphone before I leave the store.


7. The Best Change Agents Tell a Story: Communication is a huge part of successful change and story-telling is one of the most powerful ways to communicate the what, why, when and how of any change.

According to “The Science of Storytelling”,  your brain already knew that.


8. How to Not Suck at Meetings. …and finally… The title is a bit point-blank, but this list of tips on how to get the most out of all those meetings you have to attend and/or lead is actually dead-on.

I have several posts on this blog that relate to the same topic:


“When Shall We Be Free?” (The basics on how to conduct effective meetings.) ‎

“Closure or Exposure” (How to focus a meeting, get things done and get out on time.)

“Action Items” (How to make sure people follow through on the work that needs to get done after a meeting.)

Until next time…

Enjoy your week and let me know if you find articles to share!


Change Agent Skills, Change Communication, Change Execution, Change Leadership, Stakeholder Readiness, Team Dynamics

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I help people and teams succeed with big changes... never a dull moment!
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